Thursday, July 28, 2016

Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Title: Shanna
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Paperback; 688 pages
Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (May 31, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0380385880
ISBN-13: 978-0380385881
Notes: Received an eARC loan from the publisher for review purposes.

"You have a year to settle your fancies," he roared. "Your period of grace ceases on your first-and-twentieth year, the day marking your birth. If you have not wed into a family of the aristocracy by then, I'll name the next ready swain still young enough to get you with child as your husband. And if I must drag you to the altar in chains, you will obey!"

Shanna is a smart, rich, beautiful. and unwed young woman. The last being a problem for her father who wants grandchildren. While most would see her predicament as ideal, she sees it as a curse. How is she to know if a man loves her for herself or for the money her dowry will bring? So she devises a plan to outwit her father and his unreasonable demand. Little does she know her plan will backfire...

For those of you who don't know, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is credited with having created the historical romance genre in 1972 with her novel, 'The Flame and the Flower'--an instant New York Times bestseller.'Shanna' is another wonderful read from this "mother" of romance novels, and along with 'The Flame and the Flower' should be included on the must read shelves of anyone who sees themselves as a romance connoisseur.

This was a fun story that reminded me a touch of Gone with the Wind--not so much in the story line, but in the character of Shanna. With statements like, "Why can't I be free of you? Is there no end to your persistence?" and "You're a devil." she half sobbed. "A spawn of Satan sent to torture me!", she reminded me of Scarlett O'Hara in personality--the kind of woman who practically needs to be conked on the head before she sees what's been in front of her all along. In Scarlett's case it was Rhett Butler, in Shanna's it's Ruark Beauchamp. Ruark is everything Shanna desires but doesn't know she wants. He's loyal to a fault, handsome as a devil, smart as all get out, and downright patient with Shanna. He proves himself to her time and time again and still the stubborn woman resists giving in to what is happening between them.I kept finding myself shaking my head at her and smiling at him.

Some of my favorite quotes:
-    "You are the one whom I fear to meet each day, and yet I cannot wait until I do. I know the pain will come. I know the choking in my throat of the words that are never spoken. I know your beauty and seek it out, though the slightest taste will leave me weak and mindless. I have no other world but you. Your smile is my sun. Your eyes, my stars. Your face, my moon. Your touch and warm caress. my earth and food. Yes, this is Shanna," he whispered, "as I have never said before to anyone."

-   "Madam, you have the wiles of a vixen," he lightly teased, "Now say the truth, are you seducer or seduced, ravisher or ravished, witch or bewitched?"
    "Why all of course." Shanna rolled away from him. laughing. "What would you have be me, sir? The seduced?" Lazily she stretched, arching her back.

I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. The book packs a bit of a punch with a lot of emotional scenes and drama. It contains a bit more content than your standard, run of the mill romance somewhat similar to what one would find in such books like 'Gone with the Wind' and 'Outlander'. In other words, it doesn't have the cookie cutter feel that many romances these days do, and you get your money's worth and then some. There is suspense, danger, pirates, and, of course, romance. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a.FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

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